Updated May 19, 2024 - Business

Disneyland character performers in California vote to unionize

Mickey Mouse poses in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Park on August 27, 2019 in Anaheim, California.

"Mickey Mouse" at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California. Photo: Joshua Sudock/Walt Disney World Resorts via Getty Images

Disneyland character performers in Anaheim, California, voted to unionize with the Actors' Equity Association, the National Labor Relations Board confirmed Sunday.

By the numbers: Disneyland Resort cast members, who play characters including Mickey and Minnie Mouse and who perform at parades, voted 953-258 in favor of unionizing, according to a union statement that hailed the results as "a landslide victory" Saturday evening.

The big picture: Actors' Equity is the leading union for stage actors in the U.S., representing more than 51,000 people. It also represents Walt Disney World Resort workers in Orlando, Florida.

  • A majority of the California Disneyland Resort's over 35,000 workers already have labor unions and union organizers, calling themselves "Magic United," announced plans to unionize in February.

What's next: "The employer must now begin bargaining in good faith with the union," NLRB spokesperson Kayla Blado said in an emailed statement Sunday evening.

  • "The parties have five business days to file objections to the election. If no objections are filed, the result will be certified."

What they're saying: "They say that Disneyland is 'the place where dreams come true,' and for the Disney Cast Members who have worked to organize a union, their dream came true today," said Actors' Equity president Kate Shindle in a statement posted to the union's site Saturday night.

  • "The next step will be to collaborate with them about improving health & safety, wages, benefits, working conditions and job security. After that we will meet with representatives of the Walt Disney Company to negotiate those priorities into a first contract."
  • Jessica Good, a Disneyland spokesperson, said in an emailed statement Sunday evening that while it was complete, "there are still steps in the process prior to the election being certified, so it is premature for the company to comment on the results."
  • Good added: "Whatever the outcome, we respect that our cast members had the opportunity to have their voices heard."

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Editor's note: This article has been updated with comment from representatives of the NLRB and Disney.

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